The Celtics fortified their backcourt Monday by reportedly agreeing to a two-year contract with 6-foot-7 point guard Dalano Banton.
The Athletic’s Shams Charania first reported the news. The Boston Globe’s Adam Himmelsbach reported that the second year of the deal is a team option.
Banton, who grew up in Toronto, played for Redemption Christian Academy in Northfield, Mass. and The MacDuffie School in Granby, Mass.
He fielded an offer from UMass, but ended up splitting his college career between Western Kentucky and Nebraska. His hometown Raptors took him 46th overall in the 2021 NBA Draft.
He averaged 3.2 points, 1.9 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 10.9 minutes per game as a rookie and 4.6 points, 1.5 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 9.0 minutes per game this past year.
Banton, 23, is an athletic and rangy player who thrives in transition and can guard 1 through 3 at an NBA level. His shot is still a work in progress, as he’s just a 27.5 percent 3-point shooter, but there is potential for improvement in that area.
With Marcus Smart gone, Banton has a chance to earn minutes. He and Payton Pritchard have very different skill sets but could complement each other well.
It isn’t quite a Damain Lillard-level splash, but it’s a logical move that could pay dividends if a guard misses time to injury.